White Robe Lodge principal Brian Anderton is looking forward to racing at Wingatui on Saturday, a meeting that has long been one of his favourite days on the racing calendar. Anderton sponsors the feature race, the Group 3 White Robe Lodge Weight For Age (1600m), and has fond memories of the meeting over a number of years.
“We have been the sponsors of it for a very long time,” he said. “We started way back when I had Mellay, so it goes back a long way.”
Anderton once again has a leading contender in the form of Gallant Boy, who has a strong record in the race, having won the 2019 edition and finished runner-up in 2018. It’s a race that Anderton has been targeting with the gelding and his outside barrier in the 12-horse field poses no concerns for the seasoned trainer.
“I think he can overcome his barrier draw, he is pretty well the old boy,” said Anderton, who trains in partnership with his son, Shane. “We had this race in-mind the whole way through.”
Gallant Boy was in great form last preparation, winning two of his four starts, including a last start victory in the Listed Timaru Cup (1600m).
“He went well with those two wins and two placings from the four starts and he freshened up well. He had a week off after Timaru,” Anderton said.
While pleased with his evergreen galloper ahead of Saturday, Anderton said the rest of his team have had similar bad luck with their draws.
“The barrier draws don’t help us much in the maiden races, but the maideners have all got form,” he said.
“Exchange has drawn out in barrier 15 (in the Hannaghan & Devereux – Chartered Accountants 1400m), but there have been four scratchings so that brings him into 11, so it’s not so bad.”